The Washington Capitals made a bold move at the 2013 trade deadline, sending prized prospect Filip Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for veteran winger Martin Erat. The move was part of a gamble to win now, and as the Capitals once again exited the playoffs early it hardly appears to have paid off. Erat struggled to stay healthy during his time with the Capitals this season and in the playoffs, and it’s likely any contribution he can have won’t be enough for Capitals fans considering what the team gave up in return.
Erat missed three of the 12 regular season games he was with the Capitals for and managed just one goal and two assists. He also suffered an injury in the playoffs, and failed to register a point in four games. Given his age (31), the inability to stay healthy is a big concern moving forward. On the positive side, Erat has never scored fewer than 16 goals in a full season, which would definitely be a boost for the Capitals offense. He also had few chances to get comfortable with his new surroundings in Washington, and a full offseason to recover and a full training camp to find a nice fit with linemates should definitely help him.
Erat left the Predators with the second-most games played in franchise history. His 163 goals, 318 assists and 481 points place him second in franchise history in each of those categories. He has two seasons remaining on his contract, with a cap hit of $4.5 million per season.